Shared housing in suburbia: Enhancing agency matches through utilization of social -exchange theory

Beverly P Horowitz, Fordham University


Today's aging population presents concerns for suburban communities, many of which were originally developed to meet the needs of young families and children. Older persons aging in place within their own homes often have difficulties remaining in their communities for varied reasons. Shared housing programs seek to match older homeowners with home seekers, however the matching technology is limited. Most agencies operate with limited funding. This research utilized social-exchange theory to provide a foundation for understanding successful homesharing relationships (Dowd, 1975, 1980; Vanderwyst, 1975). It examined: (1) how types of homesharing relationships and specific needs influence adaptability regarding homesharing relationships and acceptable sharer characteristics; (2) how limitations in activities of daily living are related to provider interest in reciprocal relationships; (3) how efficacy impacts upon homesharer adaptability; (4) the relationship between provision of social supports for disabled or frail providers and willingness of home seekers to homeshare and provide services to them; (5) how support for homesharing by family and/or friends impacts upon homesharing and adaptability; and, (6) how the home environment influences provider adaptability. For providers significant relationships were found between: (1) interest in reciprocal homesharing relationships and several components of adaptability, but not the total construct of adaptability operationalized in the Providers Adaptability Score; (2) Providers ADL Scores and each of three main reasons for homesharing, financial motivations, interest in obtaining help with difficult tasks, and interest in reciprocal homesharing relationships; and (3) support for homesharing and Provider Adaptability Scores. Significant relationships were also found between Provider Adaptability Scores and “other” sources of income. For home seekers significant relationships were found between provision of either formal or informal social support for disabled providers and increased willingness to provide care for reduced rent. Additionally, significant relationships were found between Seeker Adaptability Scores and several sources of income (pension, Social Security, and employment).

Subject Area

Social work|Gerontology|Health

Recommended Citation

Horowitz, Beverly P, "Shared housing in suburbia: Enhancing agency matches through utilization of social -exchange theory" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9970779.